Security Studies Program Seminar

Reflections on the French EU Presidency, ESDP and NATO

Erwan Lagadec
Reserve Officer, French Navy
Visiting Fellow, MIT Security Studies Program

23 April 2008

[The following is Erwan Lagadec's outline of his talk.]

1. Bucharest Through French Eyes

1.1. Enlargement: Ukraine, Georgia, “FYROM”

1.2. Missile Defense

1.3. Afghanistan

1.4. Quid-pro-quo or strategic turning point? Bush's April 3rd remarks on ESDP

1.5. A “revamped” NATO?

1.5.a. Streamlined?

1.5.b. Refocused on military missions and European theater?

1.5.c. Modifying ISAF strategy?

1.6. Mixed news for NATO-ESDP relations: Malta & PfP v. Turkey-Cyprus crisis

2. France's “Return” in NATO

2.1. Fallacies of the “return”: France's current status in NATO

2.2. Political level

2.2.a. Strategic (end of Gaullism), tactical (undercutting the UK), or cosmetic (post-Blair posturing)?

2.2.b. Anticipated timeframe: endgame at Strasburg-Kehl?

2.3. Institutional level and its pitfalls

2.3.a. Institutional memory: “those who do not remember 1995-97 are doomed to repeat it?”

2.3.b. How far-reaching of a “return”? Can it stop halfway without compromising the desired results?

2.3.c. “Who's afraid of the ‘return'”: the U.S., or European partners?

2.3.d. The risk: NATO under pressure of Afghanistan not ready to be “toyed with” as in 1995-97

3. The French EU Presidency: Ambitions and Obstacles

3.1. French timeframe: triple ambition (election Sarkozy, rare occurrence among 27, “ France is back”)

3.2. EU timeframe: limits and inertia

3.2.a. Slovenian Presidency in first semester (summits): a French “implementation presidency”?

3.2.b. Imposed horizons: ratification of Lisbon Treaty, EU elections, new Commission, new HR/SG

3.3. US timeframe: the presidential election – ignore it, work around it, or exploit it?

3.4. Six months: prioritization. Defense, climate, agriculture, immigration, Mediterranean Union …

3.5. EU partners: what they expect / fear from French EU Presidency


4. Strengthening ESDP

4.1. “Work in Progress”: The Defense White Paper

4.2. Goals and proposals

4.3. Toward a new “Saint-Malo”?

4.4. Germany on board?

4.5. The end of theology?

4.5.a. Speeches by President Bush & Ambassador Nuland

4.5.b. US presence in ESDP Kosovo mission

4.5.c. US-EU Security Agreement

4.5.d. US-EU Crisis Management Work Plan



back to Wednesday Seminar Series, Spring 2008